Gareth Porter, an award-winning independent journalist and historian, discusses the Obama administration’s change of heart on Syria policy, where they are no longer entertaining the fantasy that “moderates” will depose President Assad and defeat the radical Islamists also.
Mitchell Prothero, a McClatchy Foreign Staff journalist, discusses the Islamic State’s apparent overreach in Kobani (Syria) where Kurdish fighters backed by US airstrikes forced their retreat.
Adam Morrow, a Cairo-based journalist with IPS News, discusses the Egyptian government’s violent crackdown on protests commemorating the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak; and the beginnings of another revolution against Egypt’s new military dictatorship.
Gabriel Schivone, a writer and humanitarian volunteer in Tucson, discusses his article “Gaza in Arizona: How Israeli High-Tech Firms Will Up-Armor the U.S.-Mexican Border.”
Jim Lobe, chief of the Washington bureau of IPS News, discusses Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s protocol-breaching invitation for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress – conveniently timed to bolster Netanyahu’s reelection chances and sabotage an Iranian nuclear deal.
Eric Margolis, journalist and author of American Raj, discusses Charlie Hebdo and the free speech double standard; French President Hollande’s popularity-gaining (and blowback-generating) invasions all over the Muslim world; and what comes after the death of Saudi King Abdullah.
Douglas Lucas, a writer at WhoWhatWhy.org, discusses “hacktivist” journalist Barrett Brown’s sentencing hearing, that could get him 8 1/2 years in prison for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act among other questionable charges.
SH: Hey Douglas how are you doing?
DL: Hey I’m fine. The Government has claimed – I mean prosecutor Heath has claimed quote ‘The Government did not prosecute Mr Brown for political purposes’, the judge has stated quote, ‘What took place is not going to chill any first amendment expression by any journalist’ and this is all absolutely fucking insane. I don’t even know where to begin with this shit
SH: Whoa careful with those … if you can
DL: The obscenities?
SH: Go ahead though
DL: Okay. The prosecution is convinced and has stated that Brown has been trafficking in stolen data. Heath actually said, the prosecution actually said quote, ‘You can traffic in things that have been public or available to other people’, whereas the defense has argued quote, ‘ You cannot traffic something that is in the public domain’, he didn’t traffic in any credit card information, he posted a link and so what is going on here is that the government doesn’t like people linking to information that they do not want people to know.
Brown told me he did not know what was in the file that the link led to, and sure, you know, credit card data is problematic, you know, you don’t want that widespread and everything but this is really about control over the internet and it’s ability to further our knowledge – to link us to all sorts of information.
There was a question in the court about what, the defense attorneys twist (unclear) what’s going to happen when a reporter wants to link to thousands of pages of documents – does he have to know every single word that is in there and he’s liable for them all?
And I think the government would really love that to be the outcome because you know Wikileaks and everything – mass sets of cables – the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, and everything else. The authorities want to shut that down lest they be faced with a populist – or people not falling their propaganda any further, and becoming disenchanted with the idea of simply voting for these guys is going to bring at least a little mercy to the domination – instead of begging them to be nicer – it’s wrong.
SH: In your tweet here Douglas you say that it appears that he will be hit with the full 8.5 years
DL: Yeah it looks like it
SH: That is just because of the judge’s attitude while the prosecutor talked
DL: Yeah, yeah, yeah
SH: Do you have any thing to say about the judge’s body language while Barrett was reading his allocution there?
DL: He, I wouldn’t go as far as glaring but he looked at Barrett intently like more than concentration, it was just sort of like ‘what is this guy saying?’ and I think that the judge did say stuff about how the picture the defense is trying to paint of Project PM and journalists as being – Project PM being journalistic- the judge claimed that Brown was much more involved in trafficking stolen goods etcetera than the defense wants him to believe. So the judge is not happy with the defense or Browns take on the explanation of this matter in his allocution
SH: Oh man
DL: Regardless whatever his facial expressions were, whether they were poker or what
SH: That’s the best answer, well the worst one, but more substantive one
DL: We’re going back in really soon
SH: I understand you got to go. Thanks very much for your time Douglas,I appreciate it
DL: You’re welcome, any time
Kathy Kelly, coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, discusses her impending 3-month prison sentence for carrying a loaf of bread across a line while protesting the US drone war at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
Peter Van Buren, author of We Meant Well and a frequent TomDispatch contributor, discusses how the US military-industrial complex profits from resupplying Iraq’s army with equipment that is too expensive to maintain and of little operational utility – essentially corporate welfare for General Dynamics, producer of M1 tanks.
William Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, discusses the extensive list of problems with the “overpriced, underperforming and unnecessary” F-35 combat aircraft.
Gareth Porter, an award-winning investigative journalist and historian, discusses the suspicious death of an Argentinian prosecutor who claimed Iran was involved in the 1994 Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires; and what the trial of CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling has revealed about Operation Merlin and the CIA’s assessment of Iran’s nuclear program.
Nebojsa Malic, a regular columnist for Antiwar.com, discusses President Obama’s claim that the US is upholding “the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small” regarding Russia and Ukraine; and why Ukraine might be deliberately losing military offenses in a bid to gain more US aid and intervention.
Sheldon Richman, vice president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses how to retain individual freedoms while being vigilant against terrorist attacks in his article “The Open Society and its Worst Enemies.”
Jason Leopold, a writer for Vice News and author of News Junkie, discusses How Guantanamo Became America’s Interrogation “Battle Lab,” where prisoners were subjected to untested psychological experiments to determine “the effects of torture and the limits of the human spirit.”